Mr Odey Wonah, member representing Yala 1 State Constituency in Cross River State House of Assembly, has alleged that farmers from Benue State who camp in Ochongo villages in Yala LGA of the state have attacked local farmers and killed one person.

He made the allegation on the floor of the Assembly during plenary yesterday.

He appealed for the swift deployment of security agents to Ochongo to forestall further attacks and killings over farmlands.

He claimed that the Benue campers are forcibly taking over their lands whereas before now they have been paying royalties.

Addressing the Assembly, Wonah said: “My people have been living peacefully with these campers for years. They farm on our lands and pay royalties to the community but as the farming season commenced this year they started farming without paying anything.

“When some members of the Ochongo village approached them on the issue, they attacked them. One person was killed and others sustained various degrees of injuries.

“My people are predominantly farmers but this season, they have stopped going to their farms for fear of being attacked; my prayers are that security agents be urgently sent to forestall further perpetuation of the heinous crimes, and perpetrators brought to book.”

Also speaking on the motion, Mr Agbor Dickson, member representing Obubra 1 State Constituency noted that something needed to be done urgently for peace to return in the community and those around it.

“Yala LGA produces a large portion of food ate in Cross River and beyond. If nothing was done for the people to go back to their farms, there would be hunger in 2024,” he said.

Responding, the Speaker of the House, Mr Elvert Ayambem, condemned the killing of a community member and the attack.

The Speaker assured that they will move into action to forestall any form of escalation.


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